Food systems and farmers’ behavior during an extreme event: an analysis of actions and governance following the 2018 drought in Sweden

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


The extreme weather in terms of drought and heat, which prevailed in Northern Europe during the growing season 2018, had serious consequences for food production and farmers in southern Sweden. Many questions regarding farm production came to a head as drought struck directly against farmers land, economy and wellbeing and hence created vulnerability. This paper analyzes how farmers experienced the turbulent time of a climate extreme and focuses on how they related to the societal institutions that generally govern the agricultural sector. The course of events showed how the existing agricultural institutions were struggling with the situation and partly lacked the capacity to handle a crisis of this kind. By studying more closely how farmers in this situation solved the problems, among other things through increased collaboration, measures to improve adaptability can be identified.
In the paper we relate to the distinction in climate literature between autonomous and planned adaptation. Autonomous adaptation is understood as more improvised adaptation measures taken by individual actors (e.g. farmers) to deal with changing demands and conditions, while planned adaptation refers to the deliberate creation and implementation of policies to deal with the impacts of climate change. Our empirical material consists of in-depth interviews with farmers in southern Sweden and a larger survey material collected during 2019.
From these concepts and by studying these challenges from the land users' perspective, we gain an expanded understanding of needed governance interventions for increasing the resilience in modern agriculture.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economic Geography
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug 25
Publication categoryResearch
EventConference for research and Innovation for a Sustainable Baltic Sea Region - Visby - Virtual, Visby, Sweden
Duration: 2020 Aug 252020 Aug 26


ConferenceConference for research and Innovation for a Sustainable Baltic Sea Region
Internet address